It’s not a secret any longer. The use of Advanced Practice Professionals (APPs) has skyrocketed. In fact, the growth and future of the APP clinician pool is strong and set to outpace that of physicians.
It is projected that 67.3% of practitioners added to the workforce between now and 2030 will be APPs, according to NEJM Catalyst. Healthcare organizations who learn to utilize APPs to optimize patient care and outcomes will be well positioned to continue delivering high-quality care.
We dove into this topic during our annual Locum Tenens Staffing Symposium this week. The event in San Antonio, Texas brought together LocumTenens.com clients, leaders, and healthcare experts. With that in mind, let’s look at some key trends that can help hospital and medical practice administrators better understand the current landscape and make decision about the APP clinician pool.
There is a big demand for APPs in Obstetrics & Gynecology. Certified nurse midwives provide prenatal and postpartum care and are qualified to manage and deliver babies in uncomplicated births. Midwives are essential to help combat the maternal deserts that are found in 36% of counties nationwide and are a part of the solution to provide safe and equitable care to women across the country.
The utilization of Certified Nurse Anesthetists is booming and is particularly impactful in states where CRNAs are free to practice medicine at the top of their license. CRNAs provide anesthetics to patients in every practice setting, and for every type of surgery or procedure. They are the sole anesthesia providers in nearly all rural hospitals, and the main provider of anesthesia to the men and women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Their ability to extend and enhance a surgical departments acumen make them a valuable resource and perfect solution to staffing shortages.
Acute care nurse practitioners and Physician Assistants are making large impacts in hospitals around the country. They are essential in operating rooms, critical care units, and outpatient clinics. These APP providers often lead the nightshift operations and act as the first line of defense when patients are critically ill. Pairing experienced NP’s and PA’s with physicians in multiple specialty lines is the key to sustaining programs and ensuring proper coverage that produces safe and effective care.
Psychiatry needs have increased exponentially across the country for both adult and pediatric patients and Psychiatric Mental Health NP’s have made a huge impact with the shortage of Psychiatrist’s that we have seen over the last several years. Telemedicine has become the primary method for engaging with patients and both MD and NP providers are embracing the technology to reach more patients and deliver much needed care.
APPs are essential for the future of healthcare. By better understanding the trends within many of the specialties, we can make better decisions that will result in greater access to care for our patients and communities.
About the author
Associate Vice President of Telehealth
Pamela Ograbisz, Associate Vice President of Telehealth for LocumTenens.com. With 20 years of experience in cardiothoracic surgery and internal medicine, she is passionate about delivering quality healthcare in a timely manner. Dr. Ograbisz is confident that telehealth programs are the key to improving health and the overall patient experience.